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Old 10-19-2017, 01:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by RetroGuy2000
Network TV in the mid-to-late 1980s had really stagnated. Fox had just started in 1986, and wasn't a serious threat, yet, to the Big Three networks. And much of cable TV was still imported from overseas, and didn't receive high ratings. The Big Three had a stranglehold on television, and so there just wasn't much innovation.

Still, this author lists Quantum Leap, Life Goes On, and Alien Nation, three highly innovative programs, lumping them in with some real clunkers? That seems weird.

I do remember many of these. "Free Spirit" was pretty bad; a kind of "Bewitched" re-make.

Cool post!
http://www.tvratingsguide.com/2017/0...ga-strike.html

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Written Laughing at Terry Rakolta's Boycott by Bridger Cunningham

The Writer's Guild Strike which lasted from March 7 - August 8, 1988 damaged the television landscape, as several premiere dates were pushed as far back as November 1988. Along with the preemption, this season reduced its original sitcoms by 8, dropping the total 17% from the 1987-88 figures. Still, growth reached two networks' sitcoms by impressive margins. ABC was on par with its last season's overall network average, yet its sitcoms increased by an 8% margin for their overall average. The largest percent gain came when FOX experienced a 116% increase, due to picked up affiliates and the controvery of Michigan housewife Terry Rakolta's failed boycott of Married.... With Children, causing the show to more than double its Nielsen Ratings. NBC held steady, and CBS dropped 9%







The 1987-88 Scorecard's headline included the antagonistic "FOX is a Joke" portion of the headline. Flash forward one season, and they turned that joke into a juggernaut. While other shows endured delays and damage due to the strike, FOX stepped into offensive territory and gained sensational eyeballs. The Infamous January 15, 1989 episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" triggered Rakolta to lead an unsuccessful cancellation of the crasscom, as the two leading males wandered an adult boutique in search of a bra. The result? Millions who had no clue a network called FOX existed tuned in, and smaller markets lacking a FOX affiliate scrambled to make space to cover this channel. All FOX shows increased in Nielsens this season, with It's The Garry Shandling Show taking a significant increase as well. Duets, however, only increased 20% from these developments and was not asked to return to the young station.

FOX was previously cited as a joke, as its average could be multiplied 3-6 times withinthe other three network's averages. This season, however, the sitcom stepping between average ranks left 3-4 ratings points between the four ranks, with FOX in 4th behind a faltering CBS. Elsewhere, another brash and unpolished family sitcom swept ABC by storm. Roseanne debuted to critical acclaim in October, taking 2nd place in both sitcom and overall ranks. Depicting the struggles of a working class family who overdosed the audience with crass jokes, Roseanne cornered the market away from the upscale NBC franchise of sitcoms. ABC's fortunes were mostly positive. Friday evenings accelerated due to Full House gaining attention. Having struggled and ranked 71st Place the previous season, ABC bumped the series to 8:30 behind Perfect Strangers to foster growth. During this season, Full House overtook Perfect Strangers and cracked into the top 30, leading to a brief ratings surge for anemic Mr. Belvedere reaching 42nd place. Full House's growth inspired returning it to the 8pm timeslot to lead the evening.

The weakest of the Friday franchise was Growing Pains spinoff Just the Ten of Us, which trailed the block with improved results over the prior year of failed entries. All were asked back for another season. Wednesdays softened in ratings, leading to the cancellation of Hooperman. Tested in its place was Coach, which performed at a lower bar yet cost less in production. Over at NBC, it was business as usual. Thursdays were on fire, and Dear John moved into Night Court's former slot, shoving it into a newly-created Wednesday comedy block which did not fare as well. Saturdays hit another top-10 with Golden Girls spinoff Empty Nest, and Sunday shows retired as Family Ties ended its run after 7 seasons, taking struggling sophomore Day By Day with it. And of course, Alf and Hogan Family continued orange popularity on Mondays.

CBS sitcoms endured the worst effects of the strike, as Kate and Allie was preempted to mid-season. Along with Newhart, it dropped into the high 40's, having positioned themselves around 15th in previous seasons. Wednesday and Saturday comedy blocks failed, and CBS had to rebuild Mondays.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:48 AM   #32
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In 1989, I was watching Quantum Leap (parents' choice), Rescue 911 (parents' choice), Hey Dude, Saved By the Bell, American Gladiators, Life Goes On (parents' choice), Sister Kate, Family Matters, Free Spirit, The Simpsons, Family Ties, Small Wonder, Kate and Allie (parents' choice), Day By Day, Hard Time on Planet Earth, MacGyver, Married With Children, Newhart, Designing Women, The Hogan Family, ALF, Who's the Boss, Roseanne, Growing Pains, Head of the Class, My Two Dads, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, Full House, Mr. Belvedere, Perfect Strangers, Just the Ten of Us, Father Dowling Mysteries, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Murder She Wrote (parents' choice), My Two Dads, Grand, 20/20 (parents' choice), Double Dare, You Can't Do That on Television, Hometime, The Joy of Painting, This Old House, reruns on Nick at Nite, and possibly a few others.

The Fox shows aired on a really poor UHF signal, and I couldn't always get a strong enough signal to watch them, even with every piece of aluminum foil in the house; even at the best of times, those shows were pretty snowy. And only the small television in my bedroom received the signal. The main family TV in the living room couldn't receive the signal well enough to see much of anything.

We didn't have cable, so I could only watch the Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite shows when we were at my grandparents' house, my aunts' house, or a friend's house. I loved going to my grandparents' house just for the opportunity to watch a kids' channel!
What station showed AG at that time in your area? i hope it wasn't the one that your main family TV in the living room couldn't receive the signal well enough.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:43 AM   #33
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I actually think TV was a lot better in 1989 than it is today!
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:59 PM   #34
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I actually think TV was a lot better in 1989 than it is today!
So do I. We have lot more choices today, but that has led to too much niche programming. There's very little broad appeal.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:15 PM   #35
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Now that I think of it there were no new hit shows from the 89-90 season

Cosby show, Married with children, Roseanne, A Different world, already started
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:29 PM   #36
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Now that I think of it there were no new hit shows from the 89-90 season
I'd count the following as being successful...

Doogie Howser, MD
Family Matters
Major Dad
Saved By The Bell
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:47 PM   #37
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I'd count the following as being successful...

Doogie Howser, MD
Family Matters
Major Dad
Saved By The Bell
Thanks, I forgot about Family Matters because it wasnt a INSTANT HIT
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:01 AM   #38
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In 1989, I was watching Quantum Leap (parents' choice), Rescue 911 (parents' choice), Hey Dude, Saved By the Bell, American Gladiators, Life Goes On (parents' choice), Sister Kate, Family Matters, Free Spirit, The Simpsons, Family Ties, Small Wonder, Kate and Allie (parents' choice), Day By Day, Hard Time on Planet Earth, MacGyver, Married With Children, Newhart, Designing Women, The Hogan Family, ALF, Who's the Boss, Roseanne, Growing Pains, Head of the Class, My Two Dads, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, Full House, Mr. Belvedere, Perfect Strangers, Just the Ten of Us, Father Dowling Mysteries, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Murder She Wrote (parents' choice), My Two Dads, Grand, 20/20 (parents' choice), Double Dare, You Can't Do That on Television, Hometime, The Joy of Painting, This Old House, reruns on Nick at Nite, and possibly a few others.

The Fox shows aired on a really poor UHF signal, and I couldn't always get a strong enough signal to watch them, even with every piece of aluminum foil in the house; even at the best of times, those shows were pretty snowy. And only the small television in my bedroom received the signal. The main family TV in the living room couldn't receive the signal well enough to see much of anything.

We didn't have cable, so I could only watch the Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite shows when we were at my grandparents' house, my aunts' house, or a friend's house. I loved going to my grandparents' house just for the opportunity to watch a kids' channel!
The only channel i could get clearly was ABC..so all the ABC shows, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, American Gladiators were my favorites. And the soaps were all ABC too.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:42 PM   #39
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I actually think TV was a lot better in 1989 than it is today!
I agree. The quality of TV shows overall was on the decline however TV was still much better in every way. Not only the programs,but television itself. Back in 1989 it was not the obnoxious and commercial filled mess it later turned into and is now. Not to mention cable TV was actually good back then.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:11 PM   #40
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100% correct
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:42 PM   #41
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1989: the year Seinfeld premiered. We all know how dominant that show became, although it struggled at first.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:47 PM   #42
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1989: the year Seinfeld premiered. We all know how dominant that show became, although it struggled at first.
Yes, but it wasn't on the fall schedule. It was a summer show that returned a year and a half later in January 1991!
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:53 PM   #43
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Well, objectively, Life Goes On won or was nominated for a ton of awards, which is some indication of quality.

Free Spirit had some interesting visual effects, much like Bewitched (or maybe Merry Poppins, considering she was a housekeeper/nanny to the kids) but it only lasted 13 weeks due to very poor ratings, and was voted the "worst show on television" by TV critics. I think its biggest claim to fame is starting the career of Alyson Hannigan, who actually was quite good in her role as the teenage daughter.

I'd say there's definitely justification for including a 13-week half-season-wonder voted the "worst show on TV" in an article about bad 80s TV. But then the author of the article also includes shows which were the subject of critical acclaim, which I think weakens his argument that 1989 was a bad year for TV.
i remember watching Free Spirit once...after an Eagles-Broncos game from CBS. Free Spirit had some interesting visual effects for it's time. It was followed by The Real Ghostbusters ep "The Halloween Door."
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:08 PM   #44
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i remember watching Free Spirit once...after an Eagles-Broncos game from CBS. Free Spirit had some interesting visual effects for it's time. It was followed by The Real Ghostbusters ep "The Halloween Door."
You must be from philly, Channel 10CBS. Whenever the eagles was on the road at a AFC team in those days the game was always on CBS
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:27 PM   #45
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What station showed AG at that time in your area? i hope it wasn't the one that your main family TV in the living room couldn't receive the signal well enough.
Whoops! Sorry, Danderson, I just noticed I hadn't replied to some of your comments here.

I don't remember which Big Three station in my area aired American Gladiators, but it definitely wasn't the low-powered Fox affiliate. We got a good quality signal.
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